The Energy Department has awarded $40 million in total grants to four bioenergy research centers that will aim to produce fuels and products from nonfood biomass.
DOE said Monday each center is led by a university or a national laboratory and will receive the initial funds during fiscal 2018.
The department could also provide funds to support operation of the facilities for a total of five years.
“The revolution of modern biology has opened up vast new opportunities for the energy industry to develop and utilize products derived from biomass as a sustainable resource,” said Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
He added the centers will work to streamline the development of basic science and technological systems required to help the local industry utilize a bio-based economy.
The awards build on the DOE’s Bioenergy Research Centers program that created agricultural practices as well as developed feedstock deconstruction and fuel production processes over the past 10 years.
DOE chose the new BRCs through an open competition that used methods other than the peer review process.
The BRCs and lead organizations are as follows:
- Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Center for Bioenergy Innovation; Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center; University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University
- Joint BioEnergy Institute; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory